Bolinas Community Public Utility District
A Regular Meeting Of The Board
December 21, 2011 270 Elm Road, Bolinas
1. Call to Order.
Directors Amoroso, Kimball, Siedman and Smith present;
director Bender absent. Director Siedman presiding.
3. Manager’s Report.
Staff announced that items 9 and 14 on the agenda would
be deferred to a future meeting. Staff also noted that Steve McCaffrey
from the Redwood Disposal Company was present in the audience and would like
to address the Board regarding the company’s requested rate adjustment for
2012, which the Board approved at the November meeting on the condition the
company provided detail about the specific amount of the requested rate increase.
Mr. McCaffrey thanked the Board for the opportunity to speak and reminded
the directors that when his company began serving Bolinas several years ago,
the company made commitments to the community that it has kept: it
retained the existing truck drivers, routes and days of service. In
addition, the company upgraded to low-emission trucks in the last year.
The company’s requested rate increase is consistent with the franchise agreement,
but also passes on the Zero Waste fee now charged by the County. Discussion
ensued concerning this fee and how the Bolinas share is calculated, as well
as the Resource Recovery Center and green waste disposal services.
Director Smith inquired about the operation of the company’s trucks and how
the recycling and trash are separated; Mr. McCaffrey said that they
have some split-body trucks with two compartments, one for trash and one
for recycling; in addition, they run some smaller trucks into which both
the garbage and recycling are placed during collection, but then separated
back at the company’s recycling center. Mr. McCaffrey emphasized that
the company has a simple business model: it makes more money when as
little as possible goes to the landfill. Hence, it is in the company’s
interest to ensure that all possible recyclable materials are, in fact, recycled.
At the conclusion of the discussion, the directors requested that the company
remind its drivers to stay slow on the unpaved Mesa roads and Mr. McCaffrey
said he would personally do so.
-- Update on the Terrace Avenue Bluff Stabilization Project.
Staff stated that at the last meeting, the Board received a proposal from
SAGE for the next phase of geotechnical investigation necessary to do the
in-kind repair and/or the full bluff stabilization; the cost of the work
is estimated at $46,950. The Board deferred any action on the proposal
pending (1) receipt of a detailed cost breakdown from SAGE, and (2) an indication
from the County about its role. Since that time, Steve Kinsey informed
the district that the County/DPW would like to continue working together
on the next phase of geotechnical work. Also, SAGE submitted a detailed
cost breakdown and the Working Group met on December 13th to evaluate it.
The Working Group believes that there is the potential to reduce the estimated
cost and has requested input from DPW on the proposal. Finally, the
Working Group believes that time is drawing near for more extensive engagement
with key stakeholders as the project cannot go forward without significant
private financial participation.
-- Update on Terrace Avenue Water Main Relocation Project
Staff is in the process of submitting various documents to the California
Department of Public Health as required by the loan agreement. Staff
plans to put the project out to bid in the spring of 2012; the district
intends to request a closure of Terrace Avenue at the project location during
working hours given that access has been restored at Overlook Road.
-- Update on the Wharf Road Service Saddle Replacement
The district’s engineers are preparing the detailed plans and specifications
for this project, which the district also plans to put out to bid as early
as possible in 2012.
-- Update on the Bolinas Fire Fuel Reduction Project (BCPUD Sewer Pond Property)
Staff reported that this project is nearing completion and directed the Board’s
attention to the documentation in the binders indicating that the district
has contributed approximately $28,000 to date in payments to contractors
and in-kind labor as “match” on the project. The district continues
to receive very positive comments about the project and the Conservation
Corps North Bay crew.
-- Update on the Wastewater Treatment Plant Pump Station and Electrical Upgrade
The district is in the process of finalizing its agreement
with an electrical engineer for the project and is planning to also put this
project out to bid in early 2012. Staff observed that the district
will be implementing quite a few projects during 2012.
On the water side of operations, consumption in the district is down again
to historic low levels in the most recent quarter for the back of the Mesa;
as a result, the district has been able to meet demand with its preferred
water source, the Arroyo Hondo creek, and has not yet resorted to using reservoir
water despite the unusually dry weather conditions.
The district experienced another leak on the distribution system at Cedar
and Alder Roads this past month. This is a very poor section of distribution
piping that is at the top of the staff’s list for replacement, along with
sections of the system under Fern Road between Elm and Alder. Staff
made a decision in the field to remove pine trees nearby because of the intrusion
of roots into the water main. Staff repaired the pipe at this location
and also raised various valve boxes nearby on the Mesa, which had been buried
in recent years as a result of road improvement projects.
On the wastewater side of operations, staff video-inspected certain sewer
laterals in connection with the Downtown Park project and is in the process
of planning a more extensive video-inspection program.
The Board reviewed correspondence sent and received since the most recent
meeting, including a notification from Kaiser Permanente of a 7.76% increase
in premium amounts for 2012 and a letter the BCPUD sent to a customer concerning
an unauthorized drainage project near the district’s water main that was
installed without a permit.
-- Drainage Project Manager’s Report
The Board received a written report from Drainage Project Manager Lewie Likover..
4. Community Expression.
Cela O’Connor commented that the Bolinas Lagoon Technical
Advisory Committee (“BalTAC”) is changing its process for receiving
public comments – comments must now be submitted in writing and not verbally
during meetings – as well as its reporting structure; BalTAC now will
report directly to the Board of Supervisors rather than via the County’s
Open Space District. Cela also told the Board that she has requested
that the Coastal Commission staff take over the process of updating the Local
Coastal Plan because the County staff have not done an adequate job and a
tremendous amount of money has been wasted.
Jennie Pfeiffer told the Board that the West Marin Stage Coach bus run between
Bolinas and Point Reyes Station has been discontinued due to low ridership,
but the County has agreed to a one-year trial of one morning/one evening
bus between the two communities to facilitate kids getting to Drake High
School. Jennie said the proposed schedule is not likely to work because
the timing does not line up well with the high school schedule, so she has
submitted a letter to the County’s transit district to identify the problem.
The Board received a letter from Kevin Hunter with the
Marin County Pony Club thanking the district for maintaining various roads
and paths so that horses can travel the Mesa.
5. Request for Financial Relief from Quarterly Water Bill
pursuant to BCPUD Resolution 553 – 465 Ivy Road (Dubin).
The Board received a letter from resident Beverly Dubin
explaining that she had a leak under her house that evidently had existed
for some time before she discovered it, resulting in a bill of $93;
the leak was repaired the next day. Director Kimball said that she
recommends the Board forgive the amount of the bill attributable to the leak
as long as the plumber confirms when the leak was fixed.
B. Kimball/D. Smith four in favor, director
Bender absent to forgive the amount
of the bill attributable to the leak based on the historical three-year average
consumption for the same quarter, subject to confirmation from the plumber
that the leak was repaired immediately after it was discovered.
6. Request for Financial Relief from Quarterly Water Bill pursuant
to BCPUD Resolution 553 – 1 Brighton Avenue (Calvary Presbyterian Church
Sharon Glassen was present on behalf of the church and
stated that the church has no idea why it experienced a huge water loss in
the summer quarter which resulted in a $207 bill; there is no evidence of
any leak subsequent to the one repaired in May and the water usage is now
at typical levels (about 600 cubic feet per quarter). Director Siedman
asked if there is an outdoor hose at the church; Sharon affirmed that
there is, but the valve is off and she has been checking it weekly.
Director Smith said he thinks the district should assume there was a leak;
he noted the church has been diligently monitoring the situation and he recommended
forgiving the amount of the bill attributable to the presumed leak.
After some discussion, director Kimball recommended that the Board forgive
50% of the amount of the bill attributable to the unexplained water loss
and she referenced the Board’s decision with regard to a financial relief
request from Judith Elliot under similar circumstances.
B. Kimball/D. Smith four in favor, director
Bender absent to forgive 50% of the
amount of the bill attributable to the water loss based on the three-year
historic average use during the same quarter.
7. Expanded Water Use Permit Application, 415 Yucca Road,
Bolinas (unconditioned addition to existing dwelling) (Magid).
Director Siedman noted that the building application is
to legalize a 180 square foot addition to a house, re-roof the house, and
repair siding; in addition, a number of accessory structures will be removed
from the property. Alethea Patton was present on behalf of the property
owner and she explained that he was red-tagged several months ago for the
un-permitted construction of a utility room and excessive accessory structures
on the property. Mr. Magid will be removing a yurt, reducing the size
of one structure that is over 120 square feet and cleaning up the property.
She noted that Mr. Magid has an unpermitted second unit on the property,
but the County is processing a separate legalization permit for that structure.
In response to questions, Alethea explained that the 180 square foot addition
to the house will have electrical service but no plumbing. The Board
discussed whether the expanded water use permit should be conditional or
unconditional; director Kimball noted that the Board typically issues unconditional
permits when no plumbing is involved. Director Amoroso said that when
Mr. Magid applies to legalize his second unit, he will need to re-apply for
an expanded water use permit and that permit almost certainly will be a conditional
permit, placing a limit on the amount of water use at the property.
D. Smith/B. Kimball four in favor, director
Bender absent to approve an unconditional
expanded water use permit for 415 Yucca Road.
8. Notice of Non-Compliance – Expanded Water Use Permit
Michael Lerner said that this is the second time he is
appearing before the Board due to non-compliance with his permit, which is
an experience he does not relish. He has evaluated water use at the
property and notes that his mother-in-law, who is 100 years old, is under
24-hour per day care and a large amount of laundry is washed in connection
with her care. He also discovered a toilet leak and replaced three
faucets with small leaks. He said his most recent water bill reflects
a reduction in use and he hopes this will continue. Director Smith
observed that the district’s records of water use at this property reflect
that the summer water usage is consistently about twice as high as other
times of year, which likely indicates summer landscape watering. Michael
said he hadn’t noticed this before, but agreed that summer watering could
explain the high water use; he said he has water storage tanks at his property,
which haven’t been used effectively. The Board directed staff to read
the meter at this property once a month to monitor the water use and report
back at the end of the next quarter.
9. Notice of Non-Compliance – Expanded Water Use Permit
This item was deferred to a potential future meeting as
the property owner did not receive timely notice of the non-compliance.
10. Accept the BCPUD’s Audited Financial Statements for
Fiscal Year 2010-2011.
Staff reported that the audited financial statements contain the basic statements,
a management letter (with responses), and an audited presentation of the
supplemental $19,000 in bike path funds as required by the Transportation
Authority of Marin. In terms of the financial highlights, the Management
& Discussion Analysis notes that the district’s cash position declined
during the fiscal year because the district paid off three outstanding loans
that were nearing maturity; the district received $55,848 in rebates from
PG&E as a result of the electricity produced by its solar arrays; and,
the district received less in property tax revenue due to lowered valuations
and the state’s “tax grab” of local government revenues during the year to
balance the state budget. Staff also directed the Board’s attention
to staff’s responses to the management letter, which commits the district
to completing its accounting policies and procedures manual during the current
V. Amoroso/B. Kimball four in favor,
director Bender absent to accepted the
district’s audited financial statements for fiscal year 2010-2011.
11 Approve Amendments to the BCPUD Sewer System Management
Staff presented a set of amendments to the district’s Sewer System Management
Plan that were discussed at last month’s meeting in connection with the Board’s
approval of a letter from the district to the Regional Water Quality Control
Board. Briefly stated, the amendments reflect: (1) the new reporting
procedure for sanitary sewer overflows; (2) a requirement that district staff
be CWEA-certified in collection system maintenance; (3) a procedure to better
estimate spill volume; and (4) a revised sampling and clean-up protocol.
D. Smith/B. Kimball four in favor, director
to approve the amendments to the district’s Sewer System Management Plan.
12 Approve Requirement for all BCPUD Staff to Attain CWEA Wastewater
Collection System Maintenance Certification; Approve Related Amendment to
Memorandum of Understanding Re: Compensation and Benefits between BCPUD Board
of Directors and BCPUD Employees.
Staff requested Board approval of a requirement for all operations staff
to attain CWEA wastewater collection system maintenance certification as
desired and recommended by the Regional Water Quality Control Board.
The district’s job descriptions will be revised to reflect the new requirement.
D. Smith/B. Kimball four in favor, director
Bender absent to approve a requirement
that all BCPUD operations staff attain CWEA wastewater collection system
maintenance certification as a condition of employment.
Staff next presented proposed amendments to the Memorandum of Understanding
re: Compensation and Benefits between the Board and employees (“MOU”) to
provide that operations staff will be eligible for a 4% raise in pay upon
attainment of CWEA certification in wastewater collection system maintenance,
up to grade level 2.
B. Kimball/V. Amoroso four in favor,
director Bender absent
to approve amendments to the MOU to provide for a 4% increase
in compensation for staff attaining CWEA certification in wastewater collection
system maintenance, up to grade level 2.
13 BCPUD Resolution 609: Establishing District Policy Concerning Suspended
or Abandoned Water Service.
This item was deferred to a future meeting.
14 Election: Association of California Water Agencies – Health Benefits
Authority (“ACWA/HBA”) Board of Directors
V. Amoroso/B. Kimball four in favor, director Bender absent
to vote for Joan Finnegan for the ACWA/HBA Board of Directors.
15. Volunteer Committee Reports
-- Alternative Energy: Nothing to report.
-- Bolinas Lagoon Technical Advisory Committee: Director Amoroso said
that the December meeting was cancelled; BalTAC’s next will meet in February.
-- Community Path Update: Director Kimball reported that she has given
staff a check in the amount of $3,000 to repay funds advanced to the bike
path project by the BCPUD. She said the project has about $2500 in
remaining funds; she does not anticipate purchasing any more plants, but
may need to obtain more erosion control material for the slope. She
noted that she also may need to hire labor to assist in removing eucalyptus
debris from the path median as it tends to bury and smother the plants.
-- Downtown Parking & Traffic Committee: Nothing to report.
-- Resource Recovery: Nothing to report.
-- West Nile Virus Task Force/West Marin Mosquito Control Coordinating Council:
Director Kimball reported that the West Marin Mosquito Control Coordinating
Council will hold a meeting on January 18th at 3:30 p.m. at the Dance Palace
in Point Reyes Station to say hello to the new General Manager, Phil Smith,
and to wish Jim Wanderscheid well in his retirement.
16. Other Business
a. Board Committee Reports
-- Finance: Staff stated that the budget process for fiscal year 2012-13
will soon be underway, as will the annual negotiation concerning staff hourly
-- Legal: Nothing to report.
-- Mesa Septic, Flood Control and Roads: Nothing to report.
-- Operations: Director Amoroso said that he is interested in better
understanding where the district’s valves are located within the distribution
system and whether the district is able to sufficiently isolate neighborhoods
during a water outage. Staff agreed to report back on this at a future
-- Park and Recreation: Nothing to report.
-- Personnel: Employee Request for Contribution Toward Health Insurance
Premium. After a brief discussion, the Board concluded that since the
request is from an employee of the Resource Recovery Project (“RRP”), the
board of the RRP should make this decision.
-- Sewer: Nothing to report.
b. Minutes of the November 16, 2011 Regular Meeting
Directors Smith and Kimball offered clarifying revisions to the minutes of
the November 16, 2011 regular meeting of the Board.
B. Kimball/D. Smith four in favor, director Bender absent
to approve the minutes of the November 16, 2011 regular
meeting, as amended
D. Smith/B. Kimball four in favor, director
Bender absent to approve the warrant
d. Scheduling of Next Meeting(s)
January 18, 2012 at 7:30 p.m.